English 20-1 Mr. Smith
December 20, 2017
Rick Warren once said, “A lie does not become a truth, wrong does not become right, and evil does not become good, just because it is accepted by the majority.” Through one’s own safety and acceptance they may find themselves being dishonest, in order to protect their own values. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller argues that for oppressed members of society, there is no value in holding to the truth when being persecuted. Rather, those persecuted should find freedom in any way possible, even through falsehood. This is supported by Betty and Ruth declaring themselves briefly ill, as well as Abigail's accusations against Tituba and Elizabeth Proctor.
When being persecuted, Betty and Ruth coincidently acted the same, both iIl from fear. The two young girls were caught participating in witchcraft. In the town of Salem, where they reside, the punishment of witchcraft is to be whipped. Scared of the harsh consequences of this offense, Betty and Ruth took on phony symptoms of a coma. These included, not waking, eating or moving in presence of another person. Betty’s father Parris begged her to wake, “Betty. Child. Dear Child. Will you wake, will you open up your eyes!”(1.8) Still Betty remained still in her pursuit of safety. Betty and Ruth committed to this fraudicious act in order to stay away from punishment. Mercy Lewis, another girl caught in the woods, threatened to use physical violence towards Betty in attempt to break her act. As Betty layed stagnant in her bed, Mercy Lewis approached her questioning Abigail, “Have you tried beatin’ her? Here let me have her.”(1.18) Petrified, she still did not wake. Peoples of Salem started to believe these girls were under a spell of some sort, and that it was work of the Devil. Ruth’s own mother, Mrs.Putnam, claimed “It is the Devils touch,” and “Her [Ruth] soul is taken, surely.” The girls continued to feign sickness as they felt no value in holding to the truth, but found reassurance and safety through falsity in the pressed society of Salem.
Although faking ill is a good opportune for the consequences, some may fluctuate the blame towards others. After both being caught participating in the woods, Abigail and Tituba both denied their presence at the event. Teenage Abigail was questioned by her uncle Reverend Parris, and Reverend Hale, a self-proclaimed specialist in witchcraft, of the story. In self-interest and not wanting to dirty her name, Abigail offensively blamed Tituba, her house slave, of her own conscience when claiming, “She [Tituba] made me do it! She...